Commissioner in a publicly listed oil and gas service company
A total of 26 million Indonesians (9.8 percent) were living in poverty as of March this year, according to the latest data issued by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). This indicates a decrease of about 1.7 million people year-on-year.
Although there is an improvement, the figures hide the wide disparity of poverty between regions in the country. The figures vary between 3.4 percent in Jakarta and 27.2 percent in Papua.
In Sumatra, poverty has decreased in all provinces, with West Sumatra having the most notable reduction in its poverty rate. However, in some large provinces such as South Sumatra and Lampung, poverty rates are well above the national average, most probably as a result of the long-depressed prices of rubber and coffee, the main commodities of those provinces. Aceh has the highest poverty rate in Sumatra at 16 percent.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.